By Amy McGinnis
Brad Lidge, now 35 years old, has told his agents that he’s ready to retire after 225 career saves (he’s 37th on MLB’s all-time list, for those of you who are counting). In 603 career appearances, he went 26-32 with an ERA of 3.54. Even more impressive than his 225 saves is Lidge’s 11.9 K/9 (not a typo). It seems that after all these years (six in Houston, four in Philadelphia, and one in Washington), Lidge is ready to spend time at home with his family. I’d like to wish Brad a happy and relaxing retirement, but more than that, I’d like to say “thank you.”
When I think of Lidge, like many of you, I’ll fondly remember 2008. He went 41 for 41 in save opportunities, helping the Phils plow through into the post-season, where he was a perfect seven for seven. Sometimes it feels like a lifetime ago, but on any given day, I can close my eyes and re-live Round 2 of Game 5 in the 2008 World Series. I remember thinking to myself, “I can’t believe this is about to happen.” Then it did – Brad Lidge owned Eric Hinske at the plate and dropped to his knees while we watched Carlos Ruiz charge the mound for the most epic hug of my lifetime. (Incidentally, I can also hear Harry’s voice saying, “One strike away; nothing-and-two, the count to Hinske. Fans on the their feet, rally towels are being waved. Brad Lidge stretches. The 0-2 pitch — swing and a miss, struck him out! The Philadelphia Phillies are 2008 World Champions of baseball! Brad Lidge does it again, and stays perfect for the 2008 season! 48-for-48 in save opportunities, and let the city celebrate! Don’t let the 48-hour wait diminish the euphoria of this moment, and the celebration. And it has been 28 years since the Phillies have enjoyed a World Championship; 25 years in this city that a team that has enjoyed a World Championship, and the fans are ready to celebrate. What a night!”
Best wishes in your retirement, Brad Lidge, and thank you so much for the memories.